The 400 year fight continues


Julia Mouketo via Unsplash

Black Lives Matter activists sit at the capital stairs fighting their peaceful fight.

Corea Conner, Photo Manager

From Treyvon to Floyd and everyone before and after, Black Lives Matter(BLM) fights to move progressively during these unprecedented and dispiriting times of the year 2020. 

Through all the chaos the year has brought, it can be easy to forget the long fight the movement has continuously been fighting since 2013. There are still protests going on in cities and police brutality is not dead. 

In fact, BLM is hard at work. On Dec. 15, Iowa City called for a reform in the city police department in light of the racial tensions this year. Their plan consists of community service work and engaging with the NAACP. 

The goal is to make racial tensions and racially motivated altercations a public health concern–pushing the notion of economic health and freedom for black people. Iowa has not been as progressive as BLM would like it to be. 

This year, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, has abolished permanent disenfranchisement, giving voting rights to people who have served time. After this long push, the action has ceased to exist from the governor surrounding urban and black community issues. 

The fight from the Des Moines community is continuous, protest and activity on social media spreading awareness to over 16 thousand people. Community activist, entrepreneur and faith leader Rob Johnson has been at the front of the lines fighting the good fight through connectivity. 

Johnson and his team have been working countless hours to lead the community in great graces. With his strong faith in people, Johnson sees the many opportunities that can transcend from the BLM movement. “I believe the next steps for the movement is policy. We must continue to push for more policy. Policy for equal health care coverage. Policy for affordable housing and more.”

After Biden won the popular vote, BLM had reached out to him and Kamala Harris for a meeting. The organization claims no efforts have been made in response and a meeting held for civil rights was held– the leaders were not invited. 

Johnson amongst others in the community are not sure if Biden will help with racial change, but nevertheless hold onto their faith within his community. “I can’t speak to what Biden will do but our work still continues because our community needs it,” stated Johnson. 

BLM pushed through once again even though they have continuously been turned away by their state and elected officials. Patrisse Cullors, co-founder and executive producer of BLM was asked by the New York Times to reflect on this year’s movement. “These three words, Black Lives matter, resurrected yet again to help remind the world that our fight for racial justice must happen through mass protest, ectoral justice and the fight to defund…” stated Cullors.

With the heat the movement caught during the summer, the media has made it clear now, the issues of police brutality and systemic racism are not important enough to air. The president-elect does not see BLM as a group worth communicating with. But BLM activists leaders have made it clear that BLM will not be backing down anytime soon.